Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2013 11:55 pm
BEAUFORT — East Carteret High School sophomore Alexandria “Allie” Cayton, 16, is awaiting a double lung transplant at Duke University Medical Center in Durham.
She is currently being treated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Duke, where doctors determined recently that a virus decimated her lungs beyond repair, according to her brother Brandon.
“She is currently undergoing physical rehabilitation while on the life support system and preoperative testing for the lung transplant. The transplant will take place once the physical rehabilitation and testing are completed, and a donor set of lungs becomes available,” he said in an email sent Thursday.
Her mother, Donna Lewis-Cayton of Beaufort, is with her. Her father is the late Christian “Chris” Cayton of Beaufort.
Efforts are under way by community members to raise funds to help the family, according to Betty Weeks, a member of Ann Street United Methodist Church in Beaufort.
“A group of people are getting together at 6 p.m. May 29 at the church to discuss ways to raise money for the family,” said Ms. Weeks Tuesday. “We invite anyone interested in helping who may have ideas to come.”
Anyone wishing to make donations to help Allie and her family during this difficult time may do so at any First Citizens Bank, where an account has been set up in her name. They can also follow her progress of recovery on her Facebook page “Prayers for Allie Cayton.”
Allie has been at Duke for the past six weeks and has been sick for seven weeks. She complained of not feeling well during a spring break trip the first week of April to Busco Beach in Goldsboro, where she had planned to go four wheeling, according to Brandon.
“Allie began saying she was feeling car sick (en route to their destination),” said Brandon. “Once at the destination Allie told one of the chaperones that she was still not feeling well and wanted to sit at the car a little while longer.”
She soon began to complain that she could not breathe well. The chaperone became concerned and took her to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where she was diagnosed with bacterial pneumonia. Allie returned home to Beaufort that evening and continued to get worse throughout the course of the night.
The following morning she was admitted to Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, where her condition continued to deteriorate. That evening it was decided by the doctors at Carteret General to transport her by helicopter to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.
“She was at Vidant Medical Center for approximately two days when she surpassed the care that the hospital could provide her, and the decision was made to transport her from Vidant Medical Center to Duke University Medical Center,” said Brandon. “However, there was a 95 percent chance that Allie would not make the trip.”
Once she arrived at Duke she was placed in the PICU and put on a type of life support called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which is a form of heart lung bypass. The doctors at Duke determined a virus had decimated her lungs beyond repair and decided that a transplant was the only means of her survival.
Allie is a member of the East Carteret band and swims competitively for the school’s swim team. She also worked part time at the Atlantic Station Cinema. She had planned on trying out for the Carteret Currents this summer.
Those who wish to send a card, can send it to: Alexandria Cayton, Floor 5, Pediatric ICU, Room 5605, Duke University Medical Center, 2301 Erwin Road, Durham, N.C. 27710.